Cheshire East Council responds to latest HS2 consultation
Cheshire East Council has published its response to the latest consultation for HS2 phase 2a, which is being built between Birmingham and Crewe following the granting of Royal Assent last month.
The consultation invited comments on the potential impact on road traffic and the natural environment during the construction of the scheme.
It also sought views on whether new railway stations or improvements to existing railway stations should be included in the HS2 phase 2a proposals and whether any railway lines should be reopened.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to respond to the latest consultation for phase 2a and to highlight key issues, as we continue to work to maximise the future potential of HS2 and secure the best possible station solution for Crewe.
“A number of improvements and enhancements are needed in and around the station to bring it closer in line with the standard of other HS2 stations being delivered elsewhere and are critical to unlocking the full economic, social and environmental benefits to the town and wider area.”
The council is continuing to work with Network Rail to develop proposals for Crewe, which include plans for improved access to the station, improvements to the existing transport networks and highways, a new passenger transfer deck for Crewe railway station, an enhanced environment in and around the station and a new multi-storey car park.
Cllr Browne added: “It is also essential that there is improved connectivity between the station and the town centre – which includes new pedestrian and cycle links – to encourage active travel, unlock key development and residential opportunities and support our major regeneration plans, including the redevelopment of the Royal Arcade site, bus station and Market Hall.”
In its response to government, Cheshire East Council also reiterated its case that the maximum levels of mitigation should be offered to those negatively affected by the scheme and considered a number of rail improvement schemes which would improve local rail connectivity and accessibility to Crewe Hub and to HS2 services.
It also gave feedback on the changes to the phase 2a scheme which would see the extension of platform 5 at Crewe station and allow for an hourly HS2 service to Macclesfield.
Cllr Browne added: “The arrival of HS2 services to Macclesfield would provide a significant boost to the regeneration of the town and support the continued success of the Cheshire Science Corridor.
“However, to unlock this potential, key interventions are needed to improve the attractiveness of Macclesfield station and its facilities so that it offers a high-quality gateway to the town and can support future passenger growth on the back of HS2.”
The council’s full response is available online by visiting: cheshireeast.gov.uk/hs2 and clicking on the ‘What will Cheshire East Council do next about HS2’ section.